Sometimes I dared to dream further, how it would feel to be inside him. I was looking at him, during our shows, the way that sweat was rolling down his skin, glittering like a million different colored gems under the stage lights.
I was following in my mind the courses of each rivulet along his skin, over his muscles, how they would slide along the details and protuberances of his body. Wet hairs would stick to his neck, and beads of sweat would find their way along them, to roll slowly downward to his collarbone. And those which could go around the small hills of his collarbone would slide lazily over his chest; and there, at some point, would get to the hair strands, having to go around them, like rivers through a forest. Short circuit. Get back to the real world!
Silence again. The breeze was bringing to my ears words spoken in that very fast language that Till was so in love with.
In my bed, alone, an ocean and a continent away from them, I wasn't missing them. Just memories of those glimpses, short circuits. The way I imagined his slick with sweat body on stage that would be just as slick and glittery in my bed. Just me closing my eyes, and my skin felt as if ready to be touched by him. His palm cupping around my shapes. That was bringing comfort. And I was wondering if somehow, all this intense thinking of mine about him would get to him somehow. He would be totally immersed in doing something, and then he would stop. He wouldn't even know why, and he would wonder about that, about why he had stopped. Because he had no reason, it was only as if something had told him to. Maybe a more intense beat of his heart. Maybe the glimpse he caught in the corner of his eye.
He would lay in my bed, sweat glistening around the shapes of his pectorals, around the shapes of the muscles on his arms, over the roundness of his shoulders. This is what I wanted, but I didn't earn my right to it.
I was back in the old town, wandering through its narrow streets, carrying my thoughts like a heavy load – my penitence to drag this huge weight and to struggle with it.
All the insides are cold and gray...
I stopped in front of this church with a Gothic arch around the entry door and a huge round window. I stopped at the foot of the large stairs that led to the entry door. It must have been after lunch, already. The sun was shining hot and everything was in bright colors – the painted buildings, the red flowers in the windows, and even the dark gray slates of the pavement.
I needed to do something. I couldn't stay forever in this place. I had to go home, I had to get back to the world.
I started walking on a street thinking that it would lead me back to the railway station. Or I should try where I saw all those new, modern buildings. On one side of the street I walked along, there were these small coffee shops and restaurants, with tables outside. A coffee and a cig, that would give me strength to continue my walk.
I entered the place. Quiet, not many in there, either. As a contrast, inside it was more dark – the white cloths on the big, square tables appearing to shine in the shadowiness.
I threw a fleeting look, searching for a place where I would feel good, to have my coffee. Or should I go outside - maybe I wasn't allowed to smoke inside? Damn regulations!
At a table, at one of those large windows, there sat another guy. Well, I would rather sit in a corner. For whatever reason, I didn't want to catch anyone's eye. So I turned seeking for a more discrete place.
My glance slid again over the guy sitting at the window. That's the problem when you have too many options. That intricate, light colored pattern on the sleeve of his black shirt got stuck in my mind.
I turned my head to see it again.
I lurk in the darkness like a vandal...
On the wide window sill there was a night lamp. The table was covered with white linen. Two empty glasses. Special jars for salt and pepper. He was sitting with his arms crossed, his elbows propped on the table. His neck a bit stretched, his face turned a bit to his right, as he was looking outside the large window. He seemed so absorbed in watching what was going on out there on the street, and he didn't turn his head when I walked closer to his table.
“Christoph,” my lips pronounced, nearly voiceless.
I made another step toward the table.
In front of him was this beer bottle.
It must have been a dream.
I kept staring intensely at him; I didn't want him to turn, I didn't want him to move. I wanted to stretch out my fingers and arrange that curl that was falling over his temple. The way he was sitting there, against the light, was revealing his profile, so sculpted. Those blue eyes staring at the world outside – an unknown, beautiful and careful observer.
It must have been a dream.
I wanted to feel under my fingertip the contour of his perfect eyebrows. I wanted to caress with the back of my fingers his cheek, and then downward, on his neck, to feel those stretched muscles as he kept his head turned.
No, don't move! I love this dream!
Memorize the Moon...
And then we had to meet again, the whole band, to work. In the same time, my child, my project was done. Studio, recordings, videos, promotions, interviews... and the other strips of life in between.
At one point I got the news that he'd been with her on the same continent with me, the new continent, my brave New World. I felt this warmth squirming in my heart, like a secret known only by me – a secret treasure I would keep hidden in a very well locked trunk. A secret I dared only to look at and enjoy in the confines of my own house, in the dark. Because only then, alone at night, would I dare to reveal it. Some sort of knowledge.
Till called me; we met a few times, went out for fun. You know, clubs, drinking, friends, and - why not? - girls. And even more. And we got along fine. Was I happy? Happiness is for the mediocre... .
I was happy traveling back and forth, between worlds and continents, always with something on my mind, always with something to do, always something to look forward to. But yeah, I had long and thorough talks with Till. The only one I talked with. With the others I met in the Old World, in the North. But it had been a while since I had stopped with the desperate, drug provoked, overseas phone calls to him. I wondered if he worried about that, or was he happy that they had ceased?
“You look at peace with yourself.”
I was tired, already hoping to make it to catch my flight back to my beloved New York City. I smiled, and Till added that I looked great.
I had my head turned, something had caught my attention. It felt like a breeze at first, then I realized that it was a gentle touch on the back of my neck, the back of his fingers caressing over my jaw to my face and back along my neck. I turned and smiled at him. I knew he was a bit too drunk, otherwise he wouldn't have touched me like that.
Written on the palm of my hand ...
“I was thinking that you wouldn’t show up at all.”
Christoph smiled, and with an almost imperceptible gesture of his head he invited me to take a seat.
I didn't move. He smiled again and shifted position.
“It would have been weird, eh?” he added. “To come all this way here and you not show up.”
I didn't know I was having a meeting. And more, a meeting with him. But I moved closer to the table, pulled out one of the chairs and sat opposite him.
He smiled again, encouraging me.
Only in that moment did I actually feel how tired I was. The flesh on my sore legs felt swollen, millions of needles stinging through each and every fiber.
I put the pack of ciggies and the lighter on the table, and arranged myself more comfortably in the chair. There was an ashtray on the table, so I could smoke in there.
I knew he was watching each and every move I was making, while his lips wore that expression of the beginning of a smile. I lit a cig, inhaled the first smoke and then placed the lighter carefully on the table, near the pack. I looked at the hand he kept on the table, his fingers curled into a half fist – under his fingertips, the shiny white, smooth cardboard square, baring something written in blue ink.
Feast like a sultan, I do, on treasures and flesh...
I smelled the alcohol on his breath before I felt the small kiss he placed on the back of my neck, almost behind my ear. I’d been drinking too, yet that scent stayed imprinted in my memory.
“You're drunk, Till,” I whispered, amused.
His hands sneaked dexterously around my waist, and he embraced me from behind. I loved it. I loved him touching me, wanting me.
“This is not the place, Till,” I said.
He didn't push me into some corner, in order to rub his body against me; we didn't touch or fondle with rapid, hasty movements.
“You're with someone now,” I said, instead of telling him to fuck off. Like having someone ever mattered, when it came to the two of us.
He didn't turn me around to kiss me hungrily as if wanting to devour my mouth; he only pulled me closer to his body, and we remained like that, motionless. I was breathing slowly, feeling the enticing pressure of his chest against my shoulder blades; he rested his cheek on the back of my neck – I could feel his eyelashes over my skin as he blinked.
We didn't need words.
I placed my palm over his fingers, but I didn't remove his hands. I just wanted to feel the warmth of his skin, the familiar texture.
“The new you doesn't want me anymore,” he pronounced.
I did hear it right the first time.
“Never mind,” he sighed and kissed again the back of my neck.
The skin of his hands slipped off my fingers, his arms untangling from around my waist, the gentle pressure of his chest leaving my back.
To be continued...